Wait A Little riding holiday in South Africa - Far and Ride
Home  >  Riding Holidays  >  South Africa  >  Wait A Little

Wait A Little, South Africa


Excellent holiday - good combination of riding, game viewing, hospitality and companionship. Very happy (with accommodation) high standard of both food and accommodation. Staff very welcoming and cheerful and couldn't do enough to help. Horses extremely well schooled and always well turned out. The best tack I've ever seen. (the guides) very knowledgeable and sociable. Very competent at managing the ride and any game encounters; some very close encounters with dangerous animals but always felt safe.

Wendy & David H.
Really professional, well organised and good fun. Horses were fantastic, turned out to very high standard. Rides were very exciting, a range of long bush walks and canters. Guides very experienced and always kept us safe. Got incredibly close to Rhinos and elephants... Really truly breathtaking, loved every minute. Horses were excellent. In fantastic condition and turned out to very high standard. Tack always clean, very professional service. (Guides?) Brilliant. Really knowledgeable. Loved asking them questions. Loved tracking Rhinos with Philip. The car drives with Patson was great as well - nice mix of riding and drives. (Favourite memory?) Seeing two sleeping Rhinos very close on horseback. Tracking and being surrounded by a herd of elephants! Very exciting. Seeing a leopard eat a crocodile at the watering hole! Also loved sleeping outside for a night by the campfire with the horses surrounding us.

Pippa & Samuel O. (Honeymoon)
This was absolutely the holiday of a lifetime for me - my expectations were absolutely blown out of the water and it was more than I ever imagined it would be. The location, people, horses and riding were all amazing. It is difficult to pick just one but my favourite memory from the holiday would be the first encounter that we had with rhinos - we came across a mother and calf and the calf came right up to Philip's horse and sniffed his nose - so curious and gentle. It was my first ever rhino sighting and one that will stay with me forever.

Ingrid T.
Having been on many riding holidays in Africa I have to rate this one as one of the best. Fantastic horses, amazing viewings of wildlife from horseback and the accommodation and food were all excellent. Brilliant to be on a "hosted" trip with a member of Far & Ride too. Favourite memory? So many it's hard to pick one, but probably the five rhino's we bumped into who just carried on playing and totally ignored our presence. Clare the horse manager is fantastic and looks after these horses so well. The tack is immaculate. Horses are all in amazing condition and very well-schooled. They had a great variety of horses that I would find it hard to imagine someone not finding a horse that suited them.

Wendy M.
Wait A Little is an amazing destination with beautifully schooled horses, excellent game viewing and fantastic hosting. The dressage saddles were super comfortable as well. Favourite memory? The amazing rhino viewing, especially the young rhinos having a play on our ride back from Xidulu. Accommodation and Food? Very happy - beds were super comfortable and now desperately trying to get rid of weight gained due to delicious food!

Tilly K.


Type of horses:

South African Boerperd, Thoroughbred, Warmbloods and Friesian crosses.

Nature of horses:

Responsive, well-schooled, brave, forward going and sensitive. Horses are regularly schooled in dressage and over small jumps.

Height of horses:

14.3 - 17 hands high.

Weight limit:

95 kgs / 15 stone / 210 lbs

Tack type:

Bates Caprilli dressage saddles are used on all of the horses - there are seat savers available if required. Most horses wear leather snaffle bridles.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride Description

These highly personalised riding safaris are for experienced riders only and include some lovely, long canters, occasional gallops and jumps. Years of experience and training enable the horses to remain calm in front of big game to ensure close but safe viewings of all of the Big Five as well as numerous plains game. The riding is sporty and fun and the horses are beautifully schooled for dressage and over fences to make them a responsive mount.

You ride in the 30,000 hectare Karongwe and Makalali game reserves, home to all of the Big Five. These riding safaris are mobile so you can cover greater distances. You stay in Wait A Little's main camp, in beautiful tents on wooden platforms built alongside the river before spending a night sleeping out under the stars. You move on to a private lodge where only the owners and Wait A Little's guests are able to stay before returning to main camp at the end of your adventure.

The rides are run and guided by Philip and Gerti Kusseler. Gerti's talent for schooling and training the horses, coupled with Philip's skill and experience of guiding, make these "must do" safaris for competent riders.

Riding groups are small, with a maximum of 7 riders to ensure an exclusive and personal safari.

Cathy from Far and Ride has been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

At Wait A Little main camp there are three large, spacious tents built on wooden platforms on the banks of the Makothswe river. Each tent has it's own private bathroom with flushing toilet, bath and shower. Two of the tents have a king size bed plus a single bed, whereas the third tent has just a king size bed. There is also a thatched rondavel in the garden which can accommodate a single rider. A fourth large tent is in the process of being built so that all guests can overlook the river. There is a communal eating area overlooking the river, plus a comfortable seating area and a swimming pool.

At Xidulu, you stay in a private lodge with five rooms, each of which is different. The lodge overlooks a hippo pool. There is a viewing platform and an infinity pool as well as communal seating areas. All but one of the rooms has a bath as well as both indoor and outdoor showers.

One night is spent sleeping out at Beacon rock - the highest point of the reserve. Here you sleep under the stars and enjoy a typical South African braai (BBQ) around the open fire.

All meals and drinks are provided. Breakfast is usually light as you set off early in the morning. Lunch includes lots of fresh salads, home made bread and meat/fish. Dinner is generous and a mixture of international cuisines. Fresh fish, venison, pasta and plenty of vegetables. There will be some braai (BBQ's) over the open fire.
Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice.



Some game drives/sundowner trips will be offered.
Non-riders cannot be accommodated.


Further Details

Languages: English, German

Health requirements: You need to be fit for long hours in the saddle in the African sun. It is likely that your doctor will recommend anti-malarial medication for this area, which is close to Kruger national park.

Age limit: Children over the age of 12 years are accepted provided they are competent riders. There is a 20% discount for children aged 12 - 16 years.

Tuition: Only on special "Fit for Safari" itinerary

Included: Accommodation, all meals and drinks, riding, other safari activities

Not included: Flights, transfers, insurance, tips


Travel Information

Flights to Hoedspruit are via Johannesburg International airport. We recommend flying South African Airways as you can get both your international and internal flight on the same ticket, which protects you in the event of delays.

Alternatively you can fly internationally to Johannesburg with British Airways or Virgin direct from London Heathrow, or via Europe with KLM, Air France or Lufthansa. You then need to book the South African Airways Airlink flight to Hoedspruit.
Transfers from Hoedspruit airport are £40 per person each way (provided at least two in transfer vehicle).
Alternatively you can arrive/depart from Phalabowra airport. Transfers from Phalabowra airport are £50 per person each way, provided there are at least two pax in the vehicle.
We recommend booking the latest arriving and departing Hoedspruit flights - these flights are better for both your safari hosts and your connecting flights. Please ask if you need advice.

Airport: Hoedspruit (HDS)

Alternative Airport: Phalaborwa (PHW)



Big Five Safari

Please note that wildlife is exactly that - wild - and so sightings cannot be guaranteed, but every effort will be made by your guides to ensure a fantastic and thrilling safari. The following itinerary is therefore a guide:

Day One: Hoedspruit - Wait A Little camp

On arrival at Hoedspruit (or Phalabowra) airport, you will be met and transferred to Wait A Little in time for afternoon tea and sandwiches. You will be shown to your tent and introduced to all of your team before a safety briefing and your first ride.

The orientation ride introduces you to the area around camp and allows you the chance to relax and unwind after your long flight. You will become accustomed to the horses and riding style whilst perhaps spotting your first zebra or giraffe. Sundowners whilst watching the Drakensburg mountains on the horizon are followed by a three course dinner.

Your first night in the African bush is probably the most exciting as the sounds of the bush echo around you.

c. 1-2 hours riding

Day Two: Karongwe reserve

You will be woken early with tea or coffee in your tent. After a light breakfast you set out on your first full morning ride. Your guide will study the ground for evidence of whatever passed by the night before and you will set off tracking game to discover what can be found.

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta through the heat of the day. After tea/coffee you set off on a shorter afternoon ride, ending at a sundowner spot where you can watch a colourful African sunset.

c. 6 hours riding (4 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon)

Day Three: Karongwe reserve

Another long morning ride through the Karongwe reserve searching for game. You may try a different horse today as you set off in a different direction to explore the river beds and bush.

During your lunchtime siesta you may wish to have a relaxing massage - this is available at extra cost.

In the afternoon your guide will drive you over to the buffalo project in the furthest northern corner of the reserve. Driving along the Makuthswe river you will hopefully find the buffalo in a beautiful spot where you can have sundowners. Return to camp in the dark using the spotlight to seek out nocturnal species.

Day Four: Wait A Little - Beacon Rock

Another fantastic morning of riding through the reserve, perhaps finding the elephant splashing through the river, or the lion relaxing on the sands.

After lunch you pack your bags to head off on your adventure. Your luggage is transferred by vehicle so you can enjoy the ride to Beacon rock. The gently undulating roads lend themselves to long canters as you pass between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill. At Beacon rock you can scramble to the summit for a view over the entire lowveld escarpment and the whole reserve, watching the sun set behind the Drakensburg escarpment. Spend the night around the campfire and surrounded by your horses. A traditional braai (BBQ) is cooked over the fire with baked potatoes and salads before settling down to sleep under the stars.

c. 6 hours riding

Day Five: Beacon Rock - XiDulu

Wake to the rich colours of the sunrise and set off on your longest ride. You cross from Karongwe reserve into Makalali reserve which is dominated by large, open plains where you may find yourself cantering alongside zebra or giraffe.

You arrive at XiDulu in time for lunch. Built on the edge of a dam with a resident pod of hippo, you can view the game from your room, the purpose built viewing deck or the infinity pool. Elephants often visit the dam to cool off during the midday sun, whilst lion or hyena are often heard around the lodge at night.

In the afternoon you will be taken on a game drive, specifically to search out the big cats. Your guide will track the footprints and signs left by the cats earlier in the day and, if you are lucky, he will find them for you. After watching the sun set with a drink in your hand, you continue your game drive with the spot light in the hope of spotting bushbabies in the trees or perhaps even a leopard.

c. 5-6 hours riding

Day Six: Makalali reserve

Today's ride is a thrilling one as you head off exploring Makalali, cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees. "Bushwhacking" is as much fun for your horse as it is for you! You may come across branches or trees felled by elephant which invite you to jump, or startle a Kudu which runs in front of you, showing you the path.

In the afternoon you can choose to take another shorter ride through the reserve, or another game drive with your experienced guide.

c. 4-6 hours riding

Day Seven: XiDulu - Wait A Little

This morning you say goodbye to XiDulu and head back to Wait A Little. There are opportunities for long canters, and perhaps even a gallop on the sandy tracks as you know your horse very well by now. You will be good at spotting the wildlife by now too and will recognize many of the antelope species.

You'll be back at Wait A Little in time for lunch and another siesta. The afternoon ride and sundowner on the open plains will be sad, but beautiful as you watch the African sun set for the final time. The farewell dinner is usually something special, such as kudu or eland fillets with a sherry sauce.

c. 6 hours riding

Day Eight: Wait A Little - Hoedspruit

An early wake-up call to ensure there is time for a quick and sporty final ride around the reserve. Brunch will be served on return to camp before being transferred to the airport.

c. 1-2 hours riding

Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: You need to be a fit, capable and confident rider. This is a ride for experienced riders only as the pace can be fast and you are riding with potentially dangerous game. You need to be secure in the saddle and able to ride in light seat and jump small obstacles.
Type of ride: Mobile safari
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights. 7 days riding.
Departure dates: 2019:
30 March-6 April (FULL); 6-13 April (FULL); 20-27 April (FULL); 11-18 May (FULL); 18-25 May; 1-8 June (FULL), 8-15 June (FULL); 13-20 July; 10-17 August; 24-31 August (FULL); 31 August-7 September; 14-21 September; 5-12 October (FULL), 12-19 October (FULL); 19-26 October; 23-30 November (FULL); 7-14 December (FULL), 14-21 December; 29 December - 5 January (FULL).

11-18 January, 18-25 January, 1-8 February (FULL), 15-22 February, 22-29 February (FULL), 29 February-7 March (FULL), 7-14 March (FULL), 21-28 March (FULL), 11-18 April, 25 April-2 May, 16-23 May, 23-30 May, 6-13 June, 13-20 June, 20-27 June, 27 June-4 July, 4-11 July, 11-18 July, 18-25 July, 25 July-1 August, 1-8 August, 15-22 August, 22-29 August, 29 August-5 September, 5-12 September, 12-19 September, 19-26 September (FULL), 26 September-3 October, 3-10 October, 10-17 October, 17-24 October (FULL), 24-31 October, 31 October-7 November, 21-28 November, 28 November-5 December, 5-12 December, 12-19 December.
Pricing: 2019:

Per person sharing for 7 nights: £3150

There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another guest. The first single to book will be allocated single accommodation without supplement, but other singles will have to either share or pay a 50% single supplement to guarantee their own room.

Transfers from Hoedspruit airport: £40 per person each way (min 2)
Transfers from Phalabowra airport: £55 per person each way (min 2)

Big Five Ride & Dine Safari

This special extended ride offers a combination of spectacular game viewing, with private hosting and delicious meals. 

The ride starts at Wait A Little camp where you stay for three days, exploring the reserve in search of game. 

On day four you ride to Clive's camp on the Greater Makalali game reserve. This glamorous, modern camp has a large, open kitchen where you can watch your great chef, Robin, prepare special meals. Robin has learnt from the best- Kiltzer's Kitchen in Knysna and is a passionate chef. He and his wife Claudia are your hosts both here and at the next camp, XiDulu. They will organise amazing meals, bush brunches and seated dinners as well as bush dinners with open fires. Specially selected wines and cocktails will accompany your culinary highlights.

After two nights at Clive's Camp you ride onto XiDulu where again Robin and Claudia will host and cook for you for two more nights. On day 8 you will ride back to Wait A Little camp for a final two nights before departing to the airport.

Each day you will have long rides in the morning, followed by either a game drive/walk or ride in the afternoon.

Wait A Little camp is situated next to a river where you can see Kudu, Nyala, Buffalo, Waterbuck and other riverine species. At XiDulu you are next to a dam with resident hippo and crocodile - all sorts of animals come to drink, including elephant. At Clive's Camp you are in a huge open area with a waterhole where big herds of zebra, giraffe and wildebeest come to drink - hyena are also often seen here.

*Please note that the order of camps may change, subject to availability

Accommodation: 5 nights at Wait A Little camp, 2 nights at Clive's Camp and 2 nights at XiDulu.

XiDulu and Clive's Camp are top class, private camps which are exclusively used tforWait A Little guests - you are accommodated in chalets.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: You need to be a fit, capable and confident rider. This is a ride for experienced riders only as the pace can be fast and you are riding with potentially dangerous game. You need to be secure in the saddle and able to ride in light seat and jump small obstacles.
Type of ride: Safari
Total riding time: 10 days / 9 nights
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates can be scheduled to suit, subject to availability.

26 September-5 October 2019 (FULL), 1-10 November 2019 (FULL), 14-23 November 2019 (FULL), 2-11 April 2020
Pricing: 2019:

£3960 per person sharing

There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another guest. The first single to book will be allocated single accommodation without supplement, but other singles will have to either share or pay a 50% single supplement to guarantee their own room.

Transfers from Hoedspruit airport: £40 per person each way (min 2)
Transfers from Phalabowra airport: £55 per person each way (min 2)

Big Five Camp Safari

This five night itinerary is a shortened version of the full week-long ride, where you just stay on Wait A Little reserve and don't cross onto Makalali. You spend four nights at their main camp plus one night at the sleep out camp - Beacon Rock. Please note that the following itinerary is an example only - the exact itinerary depends on game movements. 

Day 1

You will be transferred from the airport to camp in time for sandwiches and afternoon tea/coffee. The Wait A Little team, including Philip and Gerti, are there to welcome you and will introduce you to the safety procedures before going on your first ride.

This orientation ride takes you through the area surrounding the camp as you unwind from your journey and forget yourself in the peace of the African bush. This is your chance to become accustomed to the horses and riding style. You might even see your first giraffes or zebras or whatever else is in the vicinity. Sundowners, looking out towards the Drakensberg Mountains, are a perfect prelude to the generous 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand-picked South African wines, which awaits you in the dining area. This first night, with all its fantastic sounds and noises, is probably the most exciting one.

Day 2

You're awoken with tea or coffee in your tent in the morning. After a light, continental breakfast you are ready to mount your horses and go on safari. The weather and game movements will determine your day, but usually you ride for 3-4 hours in the morning and approximately 2 hours in the afternoon.

After returning from the morning ride, a big lunch awaits you with homemade quiches, pizzas or pancakes, freshly homemade bread, different types ofsalads and greens, meats and cheeses.

After lunch the hardest time of the day has arrived, siesta. You can spend your well deserved rest in your room or at the swimming pool or maybe you would like to improve your knowledge about Africa by reading one of the books provided in the library. You can also simply sit and watch the wildlife pass by.

Afternoon tea and coffee are on offer before the the afternoon ride which ends at a beautiful sundowner spot where, drink in hand, you can enjoy an often colourful sunset!

Day 3

Another exciting day awaits you. The morning is similar to the one on day 2, but today you go on an exciting drive to the buffalo project in the afternoon. Your guide will take you to the furthest northern corner of the reserve, all along the Makuthswe River to hopefully find these beautiful beasts. Here you enjoy your sundowner followed by a night drive back to camp.

Day 4

Another beautiful morning ride followed by Ana’s famous brunch. In the afternoon pack your bags to leave for sleep-out camp. The luggage will be brought by vehicle, whilst you set off on horseback. Riding south, you will pass between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill with baited breath. The gently undulating roads in this area lend themselves to long easy canters. Giraffe, Zebras or Wildebeest may pick up the pace and run by your side, elegantly manoeuvering through the veldt.

Beacon Rock, your fly camp, is situated at a giant rock formation from where you can overlook the whole Lowveld escarpment. A quick scramble up to the top rewards you with a spectacular panorama over the whole reserve and the perfect vantage point to witness a blood red sun fall behind the looming Drakensberg Escarpment.

Under the stars around a campfire and surrounded by your horses, you spend the night listening to the call of the hyenas or jackals, which might visit in the night. Steaks or chops, cooked over the open fire with baked potatoes and salads are the perfect fayre to help you into a deep sleep tonight.

Day 5

Waking to the rich colors of the sunrise the fire is revived for coffee and breakfast before embarking on your ride. Today you are heading South to the Karongwe river where the hyenas often have their den. It’ll be a long ride back to Wait A Little main camp, where yet another of Anna’s wonderful lunches awaits.

Over lunchtime you are welcome to have a relaxing massage by the therapist. There is a well prepared massage room where everything is there for your comfort. Today is also the chance to shop for some branded souvenirs - from fleeces, fleecy jackets and sweatshirts to shirts, T-shirts, golf tops, hats and beanies to bath utensils there is a beautiful and fashionable selection of safari outfits available.

The last sundowner on Wait A Little's open plain will be sad, but beautiful, impressive and absolutely unique. The African fever might have caught you as well and the goodbye can be hard. For your farewell dinner Gerti chooses something special - perhaps game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with sherry sauce.

Day 6

An early wake up will get you on the horses quickly, so you can enjoy a short, sporty ride before the transfer service takes you back to the airport.

Accommodation: Four nights Wait A Little and one night Beacon Rock (sleep-out camp).
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: You need to be a fit, capable and confident rider. This is a ride for experienced riders only as the pace can be fast and you are riding with potentially dangerous game. You need to be secure in the saddle and able to ride in light seat and jump small obstacles.
Type of ride: Safari
Total riding time: 6 days / 5 nights
Departure dates: 2019: 24-28 June (FULL), 21-26 July, 17-22 August.
2020: 8-15 August

Other dates can be scheduled on request, subject to availability. Must start or end on a Saturday.
Pricing: 2019:

£2100 per person sharing

There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another guest. The first single to book will be allocated single accommodation without supplement, but other singles will have to either share or pay a 50% single supplement to guarantee their own room.

Transfers from Hoedspruit airport: £40 per person each way (min 2)
Transfers from Phalabowra airport: £55 per person each way (min 2)